Sunday, March 11, 2012

G-Shock #11: Techno in Red

It’s the second article for my month of "Techno" models. This time it’s a real Techno model, as the DW-8140 and DW-8150 were the officila models from this series. All other models in this series this month have a similar big square metal bezel with resin bumpers. They mark a period of BIG G-Shocks in 1995 and 1996.
Todays G-Shock is the brother of the green DW-8150 that I have featured here two years ago. The model number is DW-8140TC-4VT. I am not certain, but I believe this model was only released outside Japan (“Overseas model”). It was not released in Japan, so you won’t find any information about this model on G-Shock Perfect Search (GPS).
The DW-8140 and the DW-8150 were called the “Techno models”, hence the letters TC behind the basemodel number. Not sure if these names were global or only used in Europe and/or the USA. The Techno models were part of a range watches with a DW-81XX model number. For XX there could be filled in two ciphers. At least I know it can be 00, 10, 20, 40, 50, 60, 95. I can’t find proof there was a DW-8130 model, though it could be logical one existed as the modules on the DW-8140 and DW-8150 share the same module as the DW-8040 and respectively the DW-8050.
The DW-81XX models can be seen as the successors of the DW-6400C from 1994, nicknamed “Gundam”, named after the Japanese animation series. I do not know if these series were broadcast outside Japan, but I haven’t seen it. As it matches the US super heroes comic series, I would not be surprised this was a popular series in the US too.
In Japan, G-Shock collectors (G-Shockers) also call the DW-81XX and DW-8300 models also “Gundam” models, although personally I think these models do look a bit different from the DW-6400, though they share the big metal square bezel with resin bumpers.
I was quite lucky I found this model. I think it was somewhere in 2004. I do not know exactly what I paid for it, but it should have been around $200 shipped.
I found this model on the Sales Corner of WatchUseek. I do not know exactly who the seller was, but he was a respected member on the G-Shock forum at that time. His name was Lee, but that’s all I can remember.
My package was shipped via a parcel service, I think originally by DHL, which was not operating in The Netherlands then. The shipping was fast, but unfortunately nobody was home to collect it. I found a note in the mail that the parcel service (“The Dutch Parcel Service), would try to deliver the next day, but I knew there was a good chance there was nobody at home again. I called the parcel service. It was possible to collect the parcel in a city called Goes (pronounce Goose) 25 kilometers from where I live). If I could get over there before 18:00, I could get my package at their sorting and collecting facility. As it was already over 17:15, I decided to call the guest parents that I would collect Bram later and rushed to Goes. I think I arrived there around 17:45 at that building on a small industrial park. It was already dark and only one light bulb was shining next to a window and door, which I assumed was the entrance. Luckily someone helped me quickly, so about 5 minutes later I had my package and could rush back home. Luckily I got no speeding tickets afterwards. I was pretty excited with my package. The watch looked awesome. Well, the former owner was happy too, because he knew it ended up in a good place.
First I thought this model was similar to the green DW-8150 I had. Actually I saw on my website G-Peopleland that I have both categorized them as DW-8150 and have shared the EL displays. I should change that soon, as it is not right. While the DW-8150 has a slot game, this DW-8140 has the same coin flipping game as found on last week’s DW-8040. If you watch the movie of the EL backlights in that article closely, you can see this red Techno model in the background. As the EL backlight was not different than that of the DW-8040, I didn’t use it in the movie.
This DW-8140 came in a nice plastic show container. It has been a little riddle for me how they had put in the manual, as it is slightly larger than the size of the square sides. I have a suspicion that this container was not intentional made for this model, as it shows the “G-Shock 540º” logo. “G-Shock 540º” is was a series of DW-004 G-Lide Snowboard models, if I’m correct (I only human).
The DW-8140 and DW-8150 came in different colors. At least there were silver, gold/yellow, green, purple and red versions. I’m not sure about other colors and I do also not know if all colors were available for both models.
The DW-8140 and DW-8150 were known because their Game function. This model has the same flipping coin function as the DW-8040 reviewed last week, the DW-8150 has the slot game, which was featured in last week’s video.
The DW-8140 has a 1431 module and is operated with four buttons. With the characteristic light button under the display, this means that this model only has one button on the right side of the watch. This makes operating not always easy, as the upper right button is often used as split/reset button in the Stopwatch mode. The Adjust button (upper left) handles this operation instead.
Except for the Game function, there is not much exciting to report about the functions. It has a simple Alarm function, a 24 h Stopwatch function and a 24 hour Countdown Timer. The Countdown Timer has an Auto Repeat function and can be set to the second. This means you can set very short loops.
I recently found out it was possible to play the Coin Flipping Game (and the Slot Game on the DW-8150) without a backlight. Normally there is a small bar visible above the day number in the date window (default after a battery change). When you press and hold the right button for about 3 seconds you will hear a beep and the bar will disappear. You can now play the Coin Flipping Game without draining the battery. If you want to use the EL backlight at night, don’t forget to turn the EL Backlight on again (similar procedure).
A very nice extra on this watch is the strap. The straps seem to consist of two parts. I haven’t took it apart, but it looks like there is a part that fits over the actual strap, like the strap adaptor does on models with a double Velcro watchband. The upper part has on both sides a big metal piece enclosed, which says “SHOCK RESISTANT”. The band loop on this model is made of metal. Since I have bad experiences with band loops of similar watches from the same period, I pretty much like that. Maybe Casio should re-introduce these band loops again. It would sure look good on the G(W)X-56 King.

The Techno series and other DW-81XX models are great to collect. Most of them are hard to find and rarely show up for sale. Best chance to find them is in Japan. The price I paid for this watch, $200, is still a good regular price. If you look at Yahoo Auctions in Japan you can find DW-81XX models for around ¥10000 used, up to ¥15000 for a good looking/mint model. You still have to get it shipped to your home, which is probably quite expensive. I guess it does not need introduction to say I really like this model and am very happy to have this one in my collection. I pretty much like the red color of the metal parts on the bezel. If there is one model in the DW-81XX line that I really would like to have in my collection, that would be the DW-8195-4. It is part of the Crazy Gangsters (June 1995), which shows a red head pin-up girl.

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